Michael J. Birrer, MD, PhD
The Claudia Cohen Research Foundation and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer announced Michael J. Birrer, MD, PhD, as the 2016 recipient of the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher. The $50,000 prize was presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s 47th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in San Diego, California. Dr. Birrer is a Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Gillette Center for Gynecologic Medical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I am thrilled to have been selected for this prestigious award,” Dr. Birrer said. “To receive the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation prize is a great honor, and I am humbled to be among such impressive previous honorees. In the 30 years I have been involved in gynecologic cancer research, I have never been as excited and optimistic as I am now for developing more effective tools to detect, diagnose, and treat these diseases.”
“One of my favorite expressions I use with my patients suffering recurrent gynecologic cancers is to tell them ‘30 years ago, this conversation would be very short, but now there are many, many options.’ And with options comes great hope and with hope comes the very basis for progress.”
7th Annual Prize
This is the 7th annual prize from the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation, which was formed in honor of Claudia Cohen, who lost her battle with uterine leiomyosarcoma in 2007. Ms. Cohen was a highly respected journalist and philanthropist. The Claudia Cohen Research Foundation was founded to foster cutting-edge research in gynecologic cancer.
Since announcing its first grant in 1995, the Foundation for Women’s Cancer has awarded 120 research grants totaling more than $6 million. Its program targets promising young researchers who often receive their initial funding from the Foundation.
“I extend our congratulations to Dr. Birrer for this well-earned recognition of his outstanding accomplishments,” said David Mutch, MD, Chair of the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Claudia Cohen Research Foundation, which recognizes the most productive researchers and provides key support as they continue to explore critical questions about how to improve outcomes for women diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer.” ■